the making of…
for over a decade it was a holiday tradition in our home to record an annual “holiday song” for the xmas/new year’s season. from december 2003 to january 2015 we released eleven classics and two originals, as well as a half dozen birthday songs. here’s a little background on each, from oldest to newest:
“a hard day’s night”
– my wife kristin’s birthday, apr 2003. cormac (4) on vocals and a wicked tin whistle solo. i’m on distant background vocals.
“jingle bells” – xmas 2003. cormac (5) belts with confidence; maude (2) opens and closes the show, chipping in some background vocals in between. this was really the one that got it all started.
“you’re a mean one, mr. grinch” (geisel/hague) – xmas 2004. i had just finished mixing “give it all away,” and the enthusiasm shines through in the unhinged arrangement. cormac (6) kills his verses; then maude (3) steps in for her first solo performance and steals the show. here she is a couple days after recording. >
“i’m staying up to see santa claus” (liotta) – xmas 2005. maude (4) takes the intro and re-intro; cormac (7) sings his ass off on the verses; kristin and i on bridge duty. in a parallel universe, this sold a million copies back in 1962.
“christmas time is here” (guaraldi/mendelson) – xmas 2006. cormac (8) hits the angelic high notes. he also played a rock solid “linus and lucy” that year.
“hark the herald angels” – xmas 2006. maude (5) sings with gusto; cormac (8) plays the opening piano. (“tryinth of the skies” went on to be a huge hit for the slovakian prog band bandersnatch rumpeldozer.)
“love” (john lennon) – kristin birthday, apr 2007. maude (5) sings her heart out.
“this will be our year” (chris white) – holidays 2007/2008. maude (6) sings the first verse; cormac (9) takes the last last verse. kristin and i sang the penny lane harmonies. note: it was after this recording that maude determined to eliminate “the lisp.”
“pennies from heaven” (johnston/burke) – holidays 2008/2009. cormac (10) sings the verse; maude (7) sings the famous part of the song. “the lisp” has been elimated.
“you go to my head” (coots/gillespie) – grandpa chuck’s 80th birthday, aug 2009. maude (7) kills this one.
“in my life” (lennon/mccartney) – grandpa chuck’s 80th birthday, aug 2009. cormac (10) sings with feeling and plays bass.
“van lingle mungo” (dave frischberg) – grandpa chuck’s 80th birthday, aug 2009. kristin does her best blossom dearie.
“fill your heart” (rose/williams) – holidays 2009/2010. cormac (11) sings the first verse + maude harmony; maude (8) sings the second verse + cormac harmony.
“think about your troubles” (harry nilsson) – holidays 2010/2011. cormac (12) sings the first half; maude (9) sings the second half. kristin sings the cool harmonies.
“i’m yours” (jason mraz) – holidays 2011/2012. maude (10) sings through illness; cormac (13) plays guitar; dad on uke. after years of over-dubbing, this track is recorded live in a single take.
“with a little help from my friends” (lennon/mccartney) – holidays 2012/2013. maude (11) sings; kristin and i sing harmonies, cormac (14) took the year off, due to wisdom teeth removal.
“rise and shine” (liotta) – holidays 2013/2014. maude (12) slays the vocals; cormac (15) accompanies on stand-up bass, including a sweet solo; kristin delivers the haunting background vocals.
“i’m afraid the masquerade is over” (wrubel/madgison) – grandpa chuck’s 85th birthday, august 2014. maude (12) slays once again; cormac (15) on electric bass.
“mr. blue sky” (jeff lynne) – holidays 2014/2015. maude (13) sings lead; cormac (16) plays stand-up bass; kristin and i sing back up. i made a fun video for this one: